When I was a young boy, my parents gave me a cap gun for my birthday. It was heavy, shiny and pretty cool looking. It even came with a holster. “Now you can go play cowboy’ with your friends,” my mom told me.
I shrugged, went outside and promptly whacked the neighbors’ kid over the head with the butt of the gun.
I’m not much for shooting things, I guess.
Some 20 years later, I found myself with a real gun in my hands—an 18-gauge shotgun—on the beautiful resort island of Lanai. I was part of a group that was invited to spend the day at Lanai Pine Sporting Clays, the only resort course of its kind in Hawaii.
Lanai Pine Sporting Clays
Most of the people in our group had never shot before, but manager Dennis Rapp, a nationally recognized National Sporting Clays Association Level III instructor, was a great help in getting us acquainted with our equipment. In no time, people were yelling “Pull!” and blasting tiny clay targets out of the sky.
Then it was my first attempt. Miss. Another Miss. I tried again. Not even close. Dennis, having surveyed my technique, nonchalantly walked over. “I think it would help,” he said quietly, “if you opened your eyes.”
For people who have never experienced it, Lanai Pine Sporting Clays is, yes, a real “eye opener.” Located on the plains of Mahana, on the north side of the island, the 14-station solar-powered course lives up to its billing as the safest and most well designed layout in the Pacific.
A typical session lasts about two hours, including a 45-minute lesson by a certified instructor. All the necessary equipment is provided, and guns are fitted for both weight and size to minimize recoil action, assuring each shooter a safe and comfortable experience. The targets (a hundred in all) are fired from all sorts of angles and directions, simulating rabbit running patterns as well as quail, duck, dove and pheasant flight patterns.
As for me, by the end of the day, I was hitting my targets with some regularity. Not bad for a first-timer, right? Just remember this helpful tip: Keep your eyes open.